90sec Development

TASK 1 – Initial Outline:

SYNOPSIS:

It’s nighttime and a girl is sitting on the couch watching tv, she yawns as she is flicking through the channels. She takes a quick look at the clock and realises it’s late. She switches the tv off and decides to go to bed. She makes her way to the kitchen to get a glass of water to take upstairs to bed. She’s at the sink filling the glass, she takes a sip then proceeds to walk out of the kitchen with it. She has a fear of the dark – she reaches the stairs and reaches for the light switch but she is afraid to turn it off and go upstairs. She doesn’t know what to do, she paces at the bottom of the stairs until eventually she falls asleep. The sun rises and it was then she realised she had nothing worry about because it was all in her head. 

The themes I’m trying to explore within my short film is a fear of the dark – from our earliest childhood we are afraid of the dark – not the dark itself, but what lurks around in it. I’m sure many people can relate because having a fear of the dark is not uncommon.  Also, suspense (tension) and scary music – The best horror movies are full of suspense, e.g., think about Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Pyscho (1960)’, from it’s slow build then ultimately revealing the horror. Suspense involves creating anticipation that something bad will happen, but not knowing when it will occur. Some of the most shocking horror movie scenes, create anticipation, but then violate the audiences’ expectations (e.g., the hero gets killed; the killer is the one the audience least expects, etc.). Music can create moods and elicit emotions. The music used in horror movies can be eerie, and can be used to accentuate the actions seen on the screen. Music intensifies feelings of suspense and shock.

JUSTIFICATION:

The audience at film festivals are: film makers, film critics, film students etc. The target audience is those under 25. My film will be suitable for this audience because films are what they are interested in however it is my job to make it appealing enough for them to stay tuned or else they will get bored and no one likes boring. Also given the fact that is can be very relatable because Nyctophobia is not an uncommon fear. 

The genre I chose to do is horror. The idea is fixated on the fear of this young girl and she is by herself for a majority of the film. Women in horror films are often represented as vulnerable, naive and powerless therefore this is an ethical consideration that I have to considered because when it comes to reality it is not all true. Before the raise of feminism women in horror film were shown as defenceless, running, screaming and not thinking what to do to save themselves which resulted in their impending death. By the 70’s women were becoming more vigilant in horror films the protagonist were taking a stance and fighting back which led to the rise of the ‘final-girl’ archetype which means the only survivor in the end who outsmarted the killer, e.g. ‘Halloween’, ‘Friday the 13th’, ‘Scream’, ‘Final Destination etc’.

Another ethical consideration I have thought about is the use of blood by including gory scenes however it might be too much of a cliche and the audience might lose interest if they see that throughout the film as it’s something they always see within horror, thrillers etc. If I was to use this then viewer discretion would be advised.

I have chosen to handle this by not having the protagonist panic or do anything to live up to stereotype of how women are represented in horror films. Everyone is afraid of something  and has that moment of panic however it how you plan to overcome is what I will be trying to achieve in my film. I am passionate about this because it is an actual fear of mine and I’m sure many people can relate to it and once a person can relate to something that is when you have gained their undivided attention hence why I want to make it. Another reason I want to make this is because it is psychological not just the film but the fear itself. Being afraid of the dark often starts in childhood and is viewed as a normal part of development which is somewhat true because this fear of mine does stem from my childhood.